Trial of a Betazoid

Trial of a Betazoid was a mission carried out by the USS Nightingale, NCC-40901, between stardates 13.0307 and 13.0518.

Senior staff

CO: LtCmdr Pol Canon
2O/CSciO: LtCmdr Nathial
FCO: LtCmdr Marcol Narai
OPS: Lt(jg) Daniel Stuart
CEO: LtCmdr Thomas Kelen
CMO: Lt(jg) Paly'n McCuen
CSO: Lt Qoensal
CNS: Lt Kate Brown
SAR: Lt Ma'kauran
NMS: Specialist Kari

Mission summary

written by Don Ratliff

With the situation on Tallien IV stabilized and the USS ELIZABETH BLACKWELL on site to take over mopping-up, the crews of the NIGHTINGALE and BLACKWELL gather for an informal dinner. During the dinner LtCmdr Canon receives a message from Cocoon Fleet Headquarters informing him of the imminent arrival of a Romulan vessel, TIRIX, and her Star Fleet escorts. A charge of murder has been laid upon Canon by the Romulan government. An extradition hearing will be conducted aboard the NIGHTINGALE.

LtCmdr Kelen voices the opinion that the Romulans would not be above faking evidence. Canon orders Kelen to do nothing without orders…and the NIGHTINGALE has been ordered by Star Fleet to cooperate with the hearing and investigation. Kelen publically agrees to do nothing without orders, but privately decides to determine just what the Romulans are really after.

Lt Qoensal suggests that the NIGHTINGALE begin to prepare herself defensively. He, too, questions the Romulan motives. As a start he decides to tighten up Security procedures and suggests that OPS run a Le vel Two Diagnostic on the ship's systems before the TIRIX arrives. Nathial, Qoensal, and Kelen have a private discussion shortly after the staff meeting. Kelen has had personal experience with Romulan 'justice'. He shows Nathial and Qoensal the scars to prove it. He is determined to stop the Romulans from taking Canon, with or without help. Nathial and Qoensal agree to help.

LtCmdr Narai had previously taken possession of duplicate memories of Doctor McCuen. These duplicate memories were created during a previous mission when McCuen became involved with an ORB, causing a split in the time-line. Now they were causing problems for Narai and it was time to return them to McCuen's mind. The procedure is thought, initially, to go well. However, a problem quickly developed. Narai loses access to all but one compartment of his multi-compartmented mind. He feels lost, unable to perform his duties as Flight Control Officer. Narai is reassigned as a CONN Officer.

Ambassador Arthur Ambrose Grayson contacts LtCmdr Canon. He informs Canon that he has been assigned by Star Fleet to be the Defense Attorney. Before Canon can get a complete sentence into the conversation, Grayson informs Canon of his arrival plans.

On the personal side, Canon and Abigail, a woman Canon had met on Tallien IV, take their relationship to a more meaningful level. There is some discussion of her remaining with Canon when the NIGHTINGALE leaves. Nathial and Kelen also feel passion's warmth.

Transporter Chief Fuller continues to have recurring nightmares of being strapped to an operating table by barely visible Romulans . Despite his struggles, he is injected with nanoprobes and conditioned for espionage against the NIGHTINGALE . He awakes from one such dream (they have been getting stronger and more frequent lately) with the images strongly on his mind. He makes an immediate appointment to see CNS Brown. He describes the dreams, which are not really dreams but memories…being instructed how to sabotage ship's systems without detection, plant time-delay explosives in key areas.

Stuart, with the assistance of Ensigns T'vek and Alton from his Operations Department begins the Diagnostic Scan of all ship systems. A bomb explodes on Deck Five. Fortunately there are no deaths, and the injured are transported to SickBay. As McCuen is treating the injured from the explosion, Chief Fuller appears at the SickBay doors. He snarls and attacks McCuen. With little effort McCuen manages to subdue Fuller and put him out with a hypospray.

The bomb blast had taken out the lateral tachycon sensor feeds from the port side of the ship. The bomb had been hooked into the ODN power feeds and would have escaped routine scan detection. With the Level Two Diagnostic's normal report now made useless by the bomb detonation and the possibility of more bombs in place, Stuart begins a long and detailed Power Audit of the ship's systems. This would verify that each amp of power was being used only by authorized ship's systems and should detect any more bombs hooked into the power grid. He assigns Ensign Alton to head the team.

Soon, Alton finds a second explosive device placed on the Antimatter Reactant Injector in Engineering. Stuart, who had been left with the Bridge Command by Canon only minutes before, instructs Alton to clear the area and leave the removal of the bomb to the experts. The Romulan vessels and her escorts are moving closer to rendezvous with the NIGHTINGALE.

Qoensal clears the area, even figuratively tossing Kelen out of his Engine Room. Five minutes later Qoensal comes out of the area, bomb in hand. He contacts Stuart on the Bridge and has the device beamed by transporter out to space, where it explodes a second later.

The explosion causes the Captain of the TIRIX to charge the Romulan vessel's disruptors. Informed of this action, Stuart opens a comm channel to the TIRIX. Captain Enarrain Narel accuses the NIGHTINGALE of firing on the TIRIX, having taken the explosion for an attack. Stuart manages to deflect a very suspicious and aggressive Romulan Captain with a tale of having to dump some unstable ammonia nitrate as an emergency measure. Stuart then informs Canon of the events and his actions.

Canon calls Stuart into the Ready Room and listens to a more detailed report. Canon is very disappointed in the Ensign's actions…and makes sure that Stuart understands, in no uncertain terms. Stuart should have called for backup, given his very junior officer status, and Canon was very disappointed that Stuart had useed an outright fabrication to pass off the explosion.

Kelen spent some few minutes in the 'Swamp' after the explosion remembering his time spent in Romulan hands, his wife and child still in Romulan territory. Perhaps he was mellowing with time, perhaps he should just a 'Good Star Fleet officer'. Perhaps not. He leaves the 'Swamp'; plans running through his mind and work to do.

McCuen completes a full examination of Chief Fuller, discovering the nanoprobes and Fuller's conditioning. He confines the knowledge to SickBay and calls for Security to station an officer there to guard Fuller. Lieutenant Kennala, with whom McCuen was very close in another time-line… another life time, arrives from Security. McCuen has prepared a hologram representation of Fuller under full medical monitoring equipment for display when the Romulans come to view the area. Hopefully this will throw the Romulans' suspicions off and re-assure them that Fuller had not yet managed to tell his secrets.

There is one more explosion. This time in The Swamp. Among the fatalities is Abigail. Once again Romulan intrigue strikes at Canon's heart.

A data chip recovered from an unexploded bomb is found to have been altered in a way characteristic with the Romulan Intelligence Service.

The Romulans arrive aboard the NIGHTINGALE. Kelen recognizes one of them; Commander Vask of the Tal Shiar, the wife of his Romulan prison camp commander. The meeting held no fond memories for either Kelen or Vask. Kelen had killed Vask's husband as Kelen escaped from the camp. Canon turns over command of the NIGHTINGALE to LtCmdr Nathial.

The Trial Begins. Captain Kieran, commanding officer USS ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, is presiding Judge. LtCmdr Kelen is assigned as prosecuting attorney. Ambassador Grayson for defense. LtCmdr Pol Canon is accused of the murder of a Romulan Officer named Selnan. Canon had managed to thwart her efforts against the Federation in the past and had, he thought, killed her during their confrontation. But it was not murder.

With Nathial attending the opening of the hearing, Stuart is left with Bridge Command, after being reminded of the proper procedures by Nathial.

Kelen goes over the Romulan-provided trial documents and comes across a picture of his daughter. Immediately he suspects that the Romulans want something else besides Canon's conviction. The picture of his daughter is just to remind Kelen of the stakes he has in the game and not to interfere.

Nathial finds out about the picture. She suspects that the Romulans might have the child aboard the TIRIX. She discusses the problem with McCuen, the CMO with a unique past, and Ma'kauran, a specialist in search and rescue. For that is just what Nathial proposes a search and rescue.

With portable holo-projectors set to make them appear Romulan, McCuen and Ma'kauran make their way on the TIRIX. As they search for Kelen's daughter, they pass a Romulan officer in the corridor. McCuen recognizes her. It's Selnan, the Romulan who is supposed to have been murdered by Canon. They follow her in the TIRIX's lounge.

Meanwhile back on the NIGHTINGALE, Grayson continues with his opening statement. And continues. And continues.

As McCuen had predicted the Romulans did have someone aboard the NIGHTINGALE passing information. The Romulans learned that McCuen and one other officer may have made their way aboard the TIRIX. Trying not to arouse any undue interest a Romulan officer strolled casually into NIGHTINGALE's SickBay. Posing as a physician, he asked to speak with McCuen. The Romulan is allowed to see McCuen working diligently on Fuller. Unaware that what he had seen was a holographic display prepared by McCuen earlier, the Romulan leaves SickBay satisfied that McCuen is still aboard the NIGHTINGALE.

Unfortunately, a few minutes later Selnan approaches the disguised McCuen. Engaging him in conversation, Selnan catches McCuen in a lie and places him under arrest, exposing the disguise. McCuen spends a period of time being tortured by Selnan for information and Ma'karuan's location.

Kelen presents the Romulan evidence against Canon. Grayson has an objection of a point of law and spends the next hour or two elaborating his objection. Kieran calls for a recess before tempers flare out of control.

When the court re-convenes, the Kieran allows Kelen to call Canon to the stand to testify as a prosecution witness. Kelen had discovered the true reason for the Romulan charges against Canon. They were merely a ploy to get Canon into Romulan custody, where he would be charged with spying for the Federation against the Romulan Empire. Kelen says he will introduce into evidence a list of Federations Agents obtained from the Romulan Tal Shiar. He called the Romulan Commander Vask to the stand to verify the list. Vask will have to either admit that she is an agent of the Romulan Intelligence Service or deny it and force the charges to be dropped against Canon.

Grayson thinks that Kelen's information is only a smoke screen, the list does not exist. Instead, what Kelen is doing is exposing Vask as a member of the Tal Shiar. If Kelen is forced to show the 'list' to the Judge, exposure of the Romulan plot would come to a halt. Grayson insists that they cannot allow Kelen to show the list. He encourages Canon to change his plea to guilty. Canon refuses.

Now Kelen presented his 'information'. It was details of the infiltration of the TIRIX by McCuen and Ma'karuan. Kelen puts Nathial on the stand.

Ma'karuan, meanwhile, manages to get a covert message back to the NIGHTINGALE informing them of McCuen's capture and Selnan presence aboard the TIRIX. Ensigns T'vek and Alton decode the message and take it to Stuart on the Bridge. He sends T'vek to the courtroom to inform LtCmdr Nathial. Upon entering the courtroom, Kieran stops T'vek and demands a reason for his presence. T'vek present the information to the Judge, who immediately recesses the proceedings and calls for them to reconvene aboard the TIRIX.

At an opportune moment, McCuen turns the tables on Selnan and escapes from his bonds. He takes Selnan in hand and drags her into the ventilation ducts. Guided by signals from Kennala, he deposits Selnan in a closet of a particular stateroom of the TIRIX. Using a secret, seldom used and dangerous, transporter technique, McCuen is transported back aboard the NIGHTINGALE. Seconds later, Canon and Grayson enter the stateroom; it had been assigned for their use while the Court was aboard the TIRIX. They find Selnan in the closet. Leaving a guard, they return to the court.

During the renewed proceedings, Grayson calls for Selnan to be brought into the court. Receiving no response to his summons, all adjourn to the stateroom. There they find Ma'karuan, subduing a recently revived Selnan. Selnan explains that she had beamed away just as Canon had fired at her with a phaser during their previous encounter. This left Canon thinking that he had killed her.

Charges against Canon are dropped. Vask assures Kelen that his daughter is probably safe on Romulus. Not really believing her, Kelen follows Vask to Starbase OMEGA, determined to end the threat to his daughter's life once and for all. McCuen, now recovered from his ordeal, invites Kennala to dinner… hoping to renew what is to him an old love.

But that's another Story… Next time, maybe.

Promotions

Lieutenant-Commander Pol Canon: promoted to Commander

Awards

Silver Nebular Award: Lieutenant Ma'karuan
Golden Nebular Award: Lieutenant JG Paly'n McCuen

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